From the first time I saw a potter creating a vessel on his wheel, I knew that this was what I wanted my life's work to be. I began my career as a functional potter, making anything that could be used in the kitchen.
After 7 years of production pottery, I hit the wall creatively and considered getting a "real job." But the challenge drove me. Taking additional coursework, learning new techniques and meeting potters who would become lifelong mentors shifted my creative focus from functional to decorative work.
Over the past 40 years, I have felt challenged to create large forms. My first attempts at 30" plates yielded a production of 75 plates, with only 8 making it through the final firing. Frustration and discouragement were tempered by the challenge -- just as my beginning attempts at life as a potter were challenged by trips to the pawn shop to be able to feed my family. My present day challenge is the production of tall, columnar vessels. The kiln gods and I continue to do battle with this form. I truly believe the challenge is necessary -- it tends to keep one humble.